The AdTech Dataviz attic (really, truly, sorry)

An ad-tech company with a product in need of UX leadership. The team had achieved a robust feature set for an MVP and were looking to take the product to version2. I came on as a UX Lead to pay the existing debt and prepare the product for wider adoption amongst the many agencies owned by the parent company. 

Toughest challenges
The toughest challenges I face(d) are as always, internal culture. The processes in place when I arrived focused on superficial design research. The need for an in-depth understanding of user expectations was apparent to me but the cost was not yet clear to key stakeholders. Challenge accepted. 

My first task was to redesign the entire interface. I started with a series of in-person interviews. I interviewed any internal stakeholder that would give me the time. A wide range of inter-organizational expectations began to emerge. Once I corralled the surprisingly diverse expectations, I executed performance testing on the existing application using the stakeholder interview results as the basis for the testing script. 

When I had sufficient input from both internal and external stakeholders and users, I paper sketched the proposed UI edits, socializing each iteration. When the proposed redesign edits and phases met with consistent approval I started in on the interactive wireframes. These were then socialized with users in an ongoing process of design, socialize, iterate, and repeat. 

My preferred tools are a whiteboard and post-its. In this case I  used Omnigraffle for static wireframes and Axure for interactive wireframes. Presentations are Omnigraffle and the ubiquitous Powerpoint. 

The team consists of 2 engineers as needed, PO, scrum master, QA lead, a graphic designer when needed, and myself. 

Design change like organizational change needs to be iterative. You can show a group a very advanced version of their current product yet selling in the idea is only one part of success. The remainder is to have the changes implemented without interfering with a multitude of other complex business needs. One has to take a long view, be patient, and be ready to negotiate without losing sight of the goal; "great user experience as a distinct business advantage". 

On to eLearning